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[personal profile] krpalmer
After what didn't seem like a long gap after the last mission, the first launch attempt for STS-128 was set for 1:36 in the morning. I figured it would be one of those things I find out in the morning... and as it happened, the launch was cancelled in the final minutes of the countdown because of bad weather. I started waiting for the next attempt the next day, but it was cancelled the afternoon before because a valve was acting up, which made me start thinking of some experience I've had with night shifts and how the astronauts weren't just waiting but with shifted sleep schedules... but with the launch window moving steadily forward to one minute before midnight at the start of a weekend, I supposed that I could stay up late enough to watch the live stream and know what was happening in real time. This time, there was no cancellation at ten to midnight, and I noticed how the ground tracking cameras were used to follow the launch for what seemed an unusually long time after the boosters were jettisoned, at first three and then just one wavering point of light in the dark sky. Of course, the view from the camera on the fuel tank didn't seem to show a whole lot more. In any case, Discovery is now in space (it was pointed out that this mission is taking twenty-five years after its first) with a load of "miscellaneous" cargo that just happens to include the COLBERT treadmill.

February 2019

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